Using a Real Estate Agent or Going it Alone?

The main reason that home owners decide to sell their homes themselves is to save the commission charged by a real estate agent. The commission rate may vary, depending on where you live or what agency you choose, but it is generally upwards of 5%. Weighing against that commission rate are the advantages that having an agent offers.

Advantages of using a real estate agent:

  • Handling your own sale means you will be responsible for placing ads, answering phones and showing your home to strangers, a real estate agent has marketing systems in place for listing and selling homes.
  • An agent will take the potential buyer through the home at scheduled times, an agent can sell the house, not just show the house.
  • The Agent is experienced in the local market and will help you determine a proper selling price.
  • The agent will negotiate with the buyer for you.
  • The agent can find qualified buyers.
  • An agent can offer advice on preparing the house for a faster sale, and closer to the asking price.
  • When your selling on your own buyers who know you are saving on an agent’s commission may offer less for your home, wiping out the financial incentive to do it all yourself.
  • Remember: a real estate agent probably knows a lot more about the business of selling a home than you do.

In the end the decision is yours.
If you have lots of spare time, and some experience that will allow you to research the market, establish a competitive price and then show and sell your home, you may feel going it alone is the answer. If your time is valuable, the commission a real estate agent takes will more than pay for itself.
Are you ready to move?The home-selling process typically starts several months before a property is made available for sale. It’s necessary to look at a home through the eyes of a prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired and tossed out.
Ask yourself: If you were buying this home what would you want to see? The goal is to show a home which looks good, maximizes space and attracts as many buyers – and as much demand – as possible.

While part of the “getting ready” phase relates to repairs, painting and other home improvements, this is also a good time to ask why you really want to sell.
Selling a home is an important matter and there should be a good reason to sell – perhaps a job change to a new community or the need for more space. Your reason for selling can impact the negotiating process so it’s important to discuss your needs and wants in private with the REALTOR(R) who lists your home.